Without a Goal

After I decided not to do the half-Ironman, I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders.

Having struggled with anxiety, I’ve generally tried to remove stress where I can in my life. I remember Katy wrote a great post a few years ago about the “summer of no.” I’ve been trying to simplify my life where possible so I can focus on the things I can control to make me happy.

In 2009, I walked into New York Sports Club and told Joel I wanted to lose weight. Since then, I’ve basically had some sort of big fitness goal every year. Since 2010, that meant running a fall marathon. So it was almost on autopilot that I decided to sign up for the HIM. Obviously I’d tackle a big fitness goal this year, and I wasn’t feeling another marathon and I’d had a good triathlon and wanted to take that to the next distance.

I haven’t had a summer/early fall since I lost weight that I wasn’t trying to fit in long training sessions (usually runs) around fun weekend plans, which I didn’t realize until I dropped out. Between this and my Junior League commitment ending at the end of June, this newfound free time is freaking amazing. I still see people’s training updates on the social mediaz and get tiny pangs of wondering if I really made the right decision, but the relief outweighs that.

I think I was afraid that without a big fitness goal that I’d gain back all the weight. But considering what a huge part of my life fitness is now, I don’t foresee that happening.

I’ve been toying around with if there’s something I do want to focus on right now, but I don’t. I still might do another tri before the end of the season, but otherwise I’m having fun doing a little bit of whatever. This week, I took two days in a row off from working out and then did some swimming, some Uplifting and some Soul Cycle with a coworker. It was nice to not have to say no because I had xx training to fit in, or to figure out how I could then get in another workout on top of that to get my training in.

A few months ago, I wrote that I felt rudderless without a training plan. Maybe I still feel a little rudderless now, but that’s okay. I’m learning how to be okay with not necessarily having everything planned out.

This morning, I did a different kind of triathlon at Uplift – it was 1.5 hours and combined their three different class formats, Strength, HIIT and Sculpt Fusion. It started approximately 7 hours after my friends left my apartment for a dinner party I hosted, so it was TOUGH. But fun.

Maybe I’ll focus on strength training, maybe I’ll do some shorter tris/join a tri club, maybe I’ll try CrossFit. Who knows?

In the meantime, I have Reach the Beach and a trip to Switzerland to look forward to. And plenty of life.

Are you training for anything? 

14 comments on “Without a Goal

  1. Jo

    I trained HARD for my first 15k in the spring, but my summer has been sort of aimless in terms of fitness. I crossed my 60 pounds lost milestone, but really I’ve been thinking about grad school applications a lot more than exercise. I WAS going to do a half marathon in September, but I’m going to do the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu instead. So I guess I’m training for that, but it’s more endurance and leg strength than speed and power.

    The stress of applications has really put me in a funk, too. I’m out of my usual 5-6 workouts per week routine, and now only get a good sweat in for about 2 hours 2x per week when I teach strength training classes. I keep saying “when I’m done with applications…” but the last time I put off exercise for studies, I gained quite a bit of weight. Here’s hoping I can stick with my healthy eating, at least!

    1. Theodora Blanchfield Post author

      Inca Trail! That will be amazing. And congrats on losing 60 pounds!

      Also I think summer is an ok time to be aimless about fitness as long as you’re getting it in 🙂

      As for the time issue, I found when I started the last job I was at, I just couldn’t fit in my workouts for a while. I just was really on top of what I ate, though, and it was just fine.

  2. Alanna

    I also have anxiety and sometimes training (half marathon) makes it far worse, even though it seemed to completely banish the anxiety a couple of years ago. There’s a lot of times where I feel like training is forced and that I’m struggling through my runs (even though it is my decision). I’m a month out from my last half marathon and instead of being forced into running, I might focus on strength-training and other forms of fitness.

    1. Theodora Blanchfield Post author

      It’s such a fine line between it helping and causing more anxiety. A few years ago, when I was REALLY anxious, I was trying really hard to get sub-4 for a marathon. Having that one area of my life I felt like I could really control helped then, but sometimes it’s just too much.

  3. Caroline

    It sounds like you did the right thing, I was going to train for a 10k this year but after I decided not to put so much pressure on myself I felt so much better. I think next year I may give myself a bigger fitness goal but I don’t know what yet!

  4. Ashley

    I’ve been “training” for a relay with my husband this Summer and we’ve both been struggling/chugging along. I’m actually excited for the race to be over and just enjoy fitness again, without anything too strict to worry about.


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